Things to Do in Burundi: 10 Must-Have Activities in Burundi

Things to Do in Burundi: 10 Must-Have Activities in Burundi – The term “Heart of Africa” is commonly used to describe Burundi, and it is easy to see why. Burundi has managed to preserve much of its culture and geography despite the rapid development of our times and its former rule by larger Western countries.

Water surrounds the country because of its location in Africa’s Great Lakes region. One of the country’s principal exports is coffee and tea, both of which thrive in this climate.

Key Cities in Burundi

The former capital and now one of the most popular destinations in Burundi is Bujumbura. Once you arrive, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time because so much of the French colonial era influence remains. This metropolis the size of a large town has seen little growth due to the regional strife, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things to do there. The food of Bujumbura is unlike that of any other East African city. Travelers will also find a lively bar and club scene.

Gitega, formerly the capital of the Belgian colony in Burundi and now the nation’s capital as of 2019, is another fascinating destination. Located here is the National Gitega Museum, a prestigious institution that serves as a repository for the country’s storied history and culture. It is also well-known as the final resting site of Burundi’s last king, Ntare V, who passed away there in 1972.

Though it is a relatively young republic on the African continent, this country’s tiny size does not diminish the wealth of experience it can offer visitors. If you’re already considering a trip to Burundi, then perhaps the following recommendations can sway you to actually make it happen.

The 10 Best Things to Do in Burundi

Visitors to Burundi who are seeking a mix of historical and cultural exploration with their active vacation at the lake or in the highlands will not be disappointed. As the country’s capital, Bujumbura serves as a convenient hub from which to explore the rest of the country.

Watch a Burundian Drumming Performance

If you don’t experience this pulse-pounding performance, you haven’t been to Burundi. The Royal Drummers of Burundi are a UNESCO Intangible Heritage group who perform in a drum sanctuary in the district of Gishora (only a few kilometers away from Gitega) that was once designated for important events during the ancient Burundian royalty.

You may book a guided tour to witness their hypnotic drumming, which is claimed to represent the shape of a woman’s body. Almost an hour will pass while you watch performances, and then you can try your hand at generating some beats yourself at the end!

Get a Tan in Lake Tanganyika

Lake Rusizi and Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest freshwater lake and one of Africa’s Great Lakes, is a major tourist draw in Tanzania. Even though the lake is also bordered by Tanzania and Zambia, it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bujumbura.

Visitors can spend the day at one of the lake’s many beaches, sampling the fare at the area’s many eateries and drinking establishments. Don’t be alarmed if a hippopotamus joins you as you bask in the Burundian sun. These incredible animals, who are generally peaceful, will occasionally go out of the lakes to relax on the beach.

Try the Burundinian Cuisine

One of the reasons we gave previously for why Burundi and its capital city of Bujumbura are unlike wherever else you’ll go in East Africa is because of this. Burundian food is particularly unique, especially considering that Lake Tanganyika is home to fish species that can’t be found anyplace else on Earth.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to sample some Mukeke while relaxing on the beach. This is one of their most well-known treats, and restaurants all around the lake guarantee its freshness. The Ndagala, Sanagala (sometimes called Captain Fish), and Inonzi are some further options.

Pasta Comedia on Avenue dela Plage and Bora Bora Beach Club on Chaussee d’Uvira are two great places to try the Mukeke in Bujumbura.

Visit the Source of the Nile

There is much conjecture as to the origin of the Nile. The Nile’s ultimate source has been debated; some believe Uganda, while others point to a little spring close to Bujumbura.

The beginning of the River Nile is commemorated by a pyramid, and it is worth visiting if you are in the area. It may be difficult to go to the site on your own unless you have transportation or a tour booked in advance. Kasumo, around 115 kilometers southeast of Bujumbura, is where you’ll find it.

Watch Animals at National Parks

Ruvubu National Park, Burundi

Numerous plant and animal species have made Burundi’s verdant woodlands their home. There are national parks in the country that you may visit to get closer to nature if that’s something that interests you.

While in Bujumbura, take a day trip to Rusizi National Park for a fast safari along the Rusizi River to see hippos, flamingos, and even crocodiles going about their business.

Located in the northeast, Ruvubu National Park is the country’s largest park, protecting a sizable area of territory along the Ruvubu River. In addition to the monkeys, lions, and antelopes, it is also well-known for the presence of at least 400 different species of birds. This is also a fantastic holiday destination, despite recent travel advisories issued by the British government warning citizens against visiting due to security concerns.

Take a Dip Into the Hot Springs of Burundi

Although roughly the size of Maryland in the United States, the country is blessed with an abundance of water. Burundi is home to roughly 10 different locations with thermal water. While not all of them are functional, the public can still visit some of them.

Two hot springs flow downward from the Bururi Mugara Hot Springs, located about 176 kilometers from Bujumbura. The resulting basin has a temperature of about 48 degrees Celsius. People from the surrounding area come to soak in the hot springs because they believe the water has healing abilities.

Locals also swear by the Muhweza Hot Springs in Rutana, about 122 kilometers from Bujumbura, for their curative powers. The Muhweza Hot Springs are two basins fed by underground water. One is for males only, while the other, which is smaller and more private, is for ladies only.

Go Bird Watching

One of the most sought-after results of an internet search about Burundi concerns bird watching. There are many great places to do it in our country, including parks, forests, and even a lake.

Birdwatchers can see the African Fish Eagle, Egret, Lesser kestrel, Great snipe, and many more in their natural habitats at Lake Rwihinda Nature Reserve, also known as the Bird Lake, near Kirundo in northern Burundi.

Also well-liked, particularly among the ancient Burundians who once revered the Bururi Forest Nature Reserve as the bridge between the heavens and the earth. The wonderful flora and animals of this country can be seen in their natural habitat at this historic place of worship that has been well-protected by the local population.

See the Chutes de la Karera in Action


You should add a trip to Chutes de la Karera to your bucket list. Visitors to Burundi often refer to the four waterfalls in the area by this name, which includes Nyakai I and II, Mwaro Falls, and Karera Falls.

A trip to the Rutana region of Burundi, where the falls are located, may include joining a prearranged tour or hiring a private automobile. The wet season in the nation is from October to January, therefore that’s the greatest time to go.

Travel Back in Time Through the Museums

It is safe to state that Burundi’s cultural heritage is extensive. Being a previous monarchy and having been ruled by powerful Western nations like France, Germany, and Belgium, this country has a lot to share with us and future generations. Thanks to museums, people were able to preserve these objects and records.

The Living Museum is a complex in Bujumbura with a zoo, a historical and cultural display, and a few stores. On occasion, concerts are conducted on the museum grounds, and guests are welcome to join in the feeding of the animals. This is one of the best examples of its sort in Africa, and it provides fascinating insight into the culture and customs of the people of Burundi.

The National Museum of Gitega can be found in the new capital; it likely provides a concise account of Burundian history. It houses an extensive assortment of Burundian antiques and relics.

Hike at Mount Heha

The Burundi Highlands include the country’s highest peak, Mount Heha. The starting point for most climbers is located about 65 kilometers from the capital city of Bujumbura.

You’ll need a guide or driver to help you navigate the mountain roads to get there. The trail itself isn’t particularly steep or difficult, but it’s still a lot of fun to try!

What You Should Know Before Visiting Burundi

Given the scarcity of direct flights from other countries, the most convenient entry points are by air via Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, or Ethiopia.

Due to tight visa regulations, entering Burundi is just as challenging as traveling there. There are only six countries in the world that do not require a visa to enter the country: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

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